by W. Eric Martin

• I love using [url=]BGG's Twitter feed[/url] to blast out news as I run across it, but sometimes I forget to carry that news back here or to the BGG database in general. At NY Toy Fair 2015 in February, John Kovaleski from Gale Force Nine ran me through some of the company's future plans, which included Black Sails: The Board Game in 2016, WWE Superstar Showdown (which debuted at Gen Con 2015), and multiple games based on a license for the television show Family Guy, with each game meant to capture a different element of the show.

Now one of those Family Guy titles has been revealed — Family Guy: Stewie's Sexy Party Game from the usual GF9 design team of Kovaleski, Aaron Dill and Sean Sweigart and due out Q4 2015. Here's an overview from the publisher:

Family Guy: Stewie's Sexy Party Game is a hilarious, fast-paced word game of questionable social value...not really suitable for anyone. Spin the spinner! Earn martinis! Offend your friends and relatives!

Each round, a new player is Stewie, the host of the party. Stewie spins the spinner to determine the theme of the party and draws a party card. Stewie's guests help throw the party by offering word cards to fill in the blanks of the party card. Guests score martinis by collecting sets of Family Guy characters on their word cards; Stewie scores martinis when the guests agree that the completed party card matches the theme. When the booze runs out, the party is over and the player with the most martinis wins!

• Italian publisher Ares Games has partnered with Chinese publisher Planplay — which has released various Ares titles in Chinese — on a new line of games that, in their words, present "innovative gameplay based on the ability of choosing and taking actions quickly, using different perception skills, such as recognition of expressions and sounds". The first title in the series is Quickpick: Island of Monster Masks, and it debuts in English at Spiel 2015 in October, with a simultaneous release in China. Here's an overview:

In Quickpick: Island of Monster Masks, players arrive at an island inhabited by strange creatures and began to fit in by wearing big masks themselves, but then they can no longer recognize one another among the island inhabitants.

The gameplay combines pattern recognition, dexterity, and simultaneous action mechanisms. The mime draws a Mask card and imitates the face shown, while the other players try to guess which Monster he is acting out. If a player guessed correctly, he and the mime collect a Mask. The winner is the player who collects the most masks during the game.

• U.S. game publisher Looney Labs has a habit of taking what people like and giving them more of it — which seems like a logical thing to do if you like your job and want to stay in business. Thus, Andrew Looney's Retro Loonacy will be released on Oct. 2, 2015, with this title featuring the same gameplay as Loonacy, namely play all your cards from hand faster than anyone else by trying to match cards already on the table. For a slightly longer description of gameplay, here's a Loonacy overview I wrote in May 2014.

• Looney Labs is also repackaging EcoFluxx as Nature Fluxx, with the card art and packaging being updated but the gameplay and components being the same. Nature Fluxx is due out Nov. 6, 2015.

• Finally, Looney Labs has entered a partnership with Penguin Young Readers to create Mad Libs: The Game, the description of which makes me realize that Mad Libs was treading inappropriate waters (depending on the participants) decades before Cards Against Humanity came on the scene:

In Mad Libs: The Game, players use the word-filled game cards in their hand combined with the sentence card in play to make the most appropriately inappropriate sentences possible. The funniest sentence by popular vote wins the round, and the first player to win three rounds wins the game.

No release date has been announced as the game is still being developed — and speaking of that, should you find yourself in Maryland you can sign up to participate in a playtesting event in Maryland on Oct. 17, 2015.